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I have to laugh . . . the AT VM95E vs the Grado Sonata

Discussion in 'audio' started by Bob Edwards, Jul 17, 2021.

  1. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    They don't even give stylus profile in the cartridge specifications. Can you think of any other cartridge manufacturer who does that?? All things considered, I think they are cheapening the products, charging the same money and trading on the past reputation. I imagine you have a bunch of people who can't or don't want to invest time and money in development and are just trying to collect money until retirement ticks round.
  2. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Shouldn’t they all measure well?
  3. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    They are primarily and headphone company these days.

    One day I'll get a Prestige cart retipped with a paratrace or even ML.....
  4. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    should and do are now the same
    Del, you should write a HiFi dictionary ;)
    Del monaco likes this.
  5. Del monaco

    Del monaco Del Monaco

    Having read the PRAT thread I think I should,.
  6. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member

    What's the verdict then Bob?
  7. Bob Edwards

    Bob Edwards pfm Member

    Hi - table is with Rick being rebuilt with a Karousel and Trampolin2; I'll pick it up tomorrow and post some impressions. I ran out of time to swap the E for ML, so Rick is doing that as well. He also said a Kore is the next thing to upgrade.
    Miss Ariel likes this.
  8. Charlie_1

    Charlie_1 pfm Member


    Interested what you make of them both once the deck is back
  9. Miss Ariel

    Miss Ariel pfm Member

    Looking forward to your impressions Bob :)
  10. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    AT33 are really good carts & excellent VFM.
    Rockmeister and Robn like this.
  11. Rana

    Rana pfm Member

    LOL, guess what track I am listening to as I read this post! In my case it's the live version. What a coincidence!
    Bob Edwards likes this.
  12. fran

    fran pfm Member

    I put a wood body (ebay) on my AT95e and have been very impressed by it.

    A bit shocked by it tbh, and I think the hyperelliptical stylus might be my next move.
  13. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    Vast, unfair and entirely unfounded accusation against many people you know nothing about. I guess that's internet "normal."

    Grado has recently fielded a new range of cartridges.

    Their profiles are more evolved version of elliptical.

    This may be entirely inadequate to those of us who convinced themselves that various versions of "chisel" profiles are automatically superior. And totally untrue, of course.

    I own the best of the old and midrange of the new and find the latter to be fully compatible and excellent VFM.
  14. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    I guess that's a fair comment. I don't know anything about the people and I'm only making assumptions.

    I still don't have the confidence you have in them. More evolved version of elliptical, what does that mean? Every other cartridge manufacturer on the planet is happy to tell you the exact stylus profile they have used but Grado just describe the stylus type as 'E'? Even on their top cart all they say is 'diamond tip'.

    If you search this horrible internet you will find other people saying that the specification of Grado styluses has dropped and they're not as good as they used to be.

    Where is this new range of cartridges? I can't see them. What is new, the word new?
  15. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

  16. Robert

    Robert Tapehead

    I disagree and think you are being too hard on Colin.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.
    The stylus quality of all but the top end carts is poor. Forgivable on a sub £100 Black or Green perhaps but not on the models further up the line.

    Simply taking tired old guts and placing them into an eversized wooden coffin for a huge premium just won't cut it. Certainly not against the competition.

    I have NOS F1+ G & Z models in my collection from the days when Joe Grado ran the show. They leave the current crop for dead. Even the old budget models like the FT which cost £11 in the 80s will best all of the current Prestige range.

    All such a shame as you can hear flashes of excellence from the fundamental design in even the current models - they just need a proper refresh with better styli.

    Great headphones though!
    torstoi and Mr Pig like this.
  17. sonddek

    sonddek Trade: SUPATRAC

    No offence intended here because we all do this - I've done it countless times - and it's just part of being a human appreciator of music and audio quality rather than a scientific laboratory, but our assessments of cartridges are so often highly questionable since we often get the deck or other part of the system maintained, updated, or switched entirely all at the same time as the cartridge change. We also compare a 500+ hours cartridge to the new acquisition, before or after running in. It is very difficult indeed to gain any kind of objective insight into the differences between a Lyra and a VM95ML in these circumstances. There are plenty of circumstances in which the latter might sound better than the former, and multiple Sondek component upgrades, including the fundamental platter bearing, may well make any sensible comparison impossible.

    Will you be trying both the tired Lyra and the VM95 on the same deck after it's upgraded? With which phono stage?

    It can take me months to make my mind up on comparisons like this. Quite often I opt for the cheaper option if the musical enjoyment is the same, regardless of 'sound'. When I was a young audio obsessive I used to care about the crispness of tinkling glass sound effects and such, now I just ask myself "does it rock?"

    I'll still be very interested in your impressions though! :)
    Nic Robinson, torstoi and Mr Pig like this.
  18. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

    It didn't all come true.
    Robert likes this.
  19. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    torstoi and Robert like this.
  20. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    Things like this baffle me. Surely Grado still have the drawings or jigs or whatever for these carts, so what is the reason for not making them, is it purely current material availability/cost?

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